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L'Affinage Du Fromage

Almost everything you ever wanted to know

Frequently asked questions

I’m confused, what is the difference between raw milk and pasteurised cheese?

Let’s keep it simple.  So, raw milk does not mean unpasteurised milk.  Raw milk is not heat treated and is not pasteurised.  However, not all unpasteurised milk is raw milk.  Pasteurised milk is heated to high temperatures in order to kill off certain bacteria. However at the same time beneficial natural flora is also destroyed which some people believe to beneficial.

More and more people are hunting out raw milk cheeses as there is evidence to suggest that if raw milk is carefully produced, the microbes within are can improve the properties of the cheese produced.  Many producers if they are lucky enough will use the milk from their own cows.  Thus they are fully in control of every aspect of production.

Does the milk really matter?

Quite simply, the better the milk the better the cheese.  Producers will seek the best pastures for their cows, often growing their own winter feed to ensure the perfect diet.  As the seasons change so does the milk produced and therefore so does the cheese.  A spring made cheese can taste very different to an Autumn one.  Embrace the difference and rejoice, generations of knowledge have often gone into the cheese making process and the cheese you’re eating right now.

If raw milk is so amazing, why doesn’t everyone use it?

In the ideal world perhaps all producers would use raw milk, however there are a number of reasons why this may not be desirable.  Firstly not all unpasteurised milk is good milk.  It varies hugely and as such is not a very stable product to consistently produce.  If milk has been pasteurised properly it can produce excellent cheese.  There are fewer worries about pathogens and viruses and many producers may not be in a position to farm or find an amazing source of good raw milk.  We offer a variety of cheeses made with different milk.

Rennet - all you need to know

Rennet falls in two categories, animal and vegetarian.  Animal rennet is a mixture of enzymes which are extracted from the stomachs of young ruminating mammals (lambs, calves or kids).  Vegetarian rennet has been developed as an alternative and may be plant based or laboratory derived.  The purpose of rennet is to turn liquid milk into a solid curd which is the first process in cheese making.

Should my cheese be blue?

The destiny of many cheeses are to be blue such as Stilton or Roquefort.  Blue moulds are introduced (nicely, maybe a handshake or doff of the hat) to the cheese which in turn helps to break it down.  The result is a stronger flavour and blue veined appearance. Natural spores from the air can permeate into a cheese unintentionally at times and blue mould can develop. Fear not, this unintentional mould isn’t dangerous and can be eaten in just the same way, it’s purely down to individual taste.

Can I eat cheese if I’m pregnant?

We can’t offer medical advice to you – so we’re going to throw the Ewok back to you and ask you seek advice from your Doctor.

I love my cheese, can I eat the rind as well?

Yes and no.  Some cheeses have a natural rind, often those with a white bloom are really quite nice to eat, or those which are a washed rind.  Some cheeses are wrapped in cloth to mature, but don’t worry, we strip this away before we cut it for you so you won’t mistakenly be eating that.  Others such as Manchego are often wrapped in wax or a food grade plastic and we don’t think that would taste very nice.  We ask you proceed with common sense and let the force guide you if necessary

But you haven’t answered my question

The fromage world is a big one and whilst we’ve tried to answer the obvious ones for you just feel free to drop us a line if there’s something we can help you with. We love nothing more than talking about cheese.

How should I store my cheese

There are no rigid guidelines here.

We freshly hand cut our cheese for each and every one of you and wrap it in our rather stylish waxed cheese paper, whilst not only looking good it helps maintain humidity around the cheese and allows it to breathe. If you wrap your cheese in cling film or foil, it can cause the cheese to sweat which will ultimately affect the flavour and not in a positive way.  We suggest you put your cheese in a sealed box in your salad tray at the bottom of your fridge this will help prevent it drying out and prevent the cheese from absorbing flavours.

How long should I keep my cheese out of the fridge before serving

Ideally a few hours before you need it – obviously we need you to use your sense here, the hotter it is the less time it’ll need out.  When cheese is too cold it’s dull and boring, you’ll lose all those amazing flavours and well, it will taste bland.  Be kind to your cheese and make sure you warm it up first in the waxed paper it arrived in.

How long will my cheese last?

Each piece of cheese is cut freshly so we anticipate it lasting for 1-2 weeks depending on storage.  If you need your cheese to last longer than this we’d suggest you buy larger pieces as these keep for longer.  Have a think about when you’ll be eating your cheese and order it as close to the event as possible but don’t forget to add a couple of days as contingency for delivery.  Unsure?  Just drop us a line and we’ll help you out.

How far in advance do I need to order?

We cut your cheese 24 hours before it is despatched so it arrives as fresh as a daisy for you.  We accept orders up until 12 midday the day before although when we’re really rushed off our feet at busy times such as Christmas this may be extended to 48hrs prior to delivery.  If you have a special occasion and are ordering cheese that needs to arrive by a specific date we suggest you order a couple of days in advance of your day.  For example if your cheese is needed for a Saturday we suggest you choose a Wednesday or Thursday as a preferred delivery day.

How much cheese will I need?

This is a mind boggling area and it’s not always easy to know.  If you’re really unsure get in touch and we’ll help you make the right decision.

Generally we would recommend roughly between 100 and 150 grams per person for after dinner, and a bit more if cheese is to be the main pizazz of the meal.

If you are buying cheese to serve over a couple of days or as part of a buffet, it will be better to buy a few larger pieces as  these will not only look better but will keep better than smaller pieces. It is difficult to imagine what a piece of cheese will look like, so as a rule of thumb a block of butter is about 200-250g

When do you want your fromage to arrive?

When you checkout you can select the delivery date of your choice.  You can choose our standard delivery which will arrive anytime between 7.30am and 7.30pm and before 12pm (delivery would be between 7.30am and 12pm midday).  An hours time slot will be provided by our courier indicating when your cheese should arrive if you provide your mobile telephone number, this also allows you to confirm or change your stated safe place.

We use DPD to deliver our cheese who do not require a signature, however please provide clear instructions on where to leave your cheese if you are not going to be home as DPD will not attempt to re deliver your parcel.  We’re more than happy to deliver to a work address.

We will try really hard to get your cheese to you on time, but if you have failed to leave clear instructions on a safe place, a mobile number or an email for tracking and updated we will not be able to refund you.

How much to do you charge to deliver?

Our standard delivery is £5 and free for orders over £35
If you would like your order to arrive before 12 noon our delivery is £9 or free for orders over £100

Do I have to order a minimum amount?

No. Although we are mindful of our planet and although our packaging is as biodegradable as possible we ask you buy all that you require in one go (as much as possible).  This will cut down on packaging and couriers delivering.

How will my fromage be packaged?

All our orders are sent in our own brown cardboard gift boxes with our logo beautifully displayed.  WWe use biodegradable wotsits (which can be thrown on your compost heap afterwards) to keep your cheese in top notch condition, while the addition of ice packs when needed will keep your cheese at its very best.  If we need to send larger pieces of cheese for parties or weddings we use a larger and sturdier box, this will also have our logo printed on it.  Each box will come with an information card about how to care for your cheese and should you wish, a hand written note for the recipient – just let us know at the checkout stage.

Can you deliver cheese outside of the UK?

No.  Sorry to be blunt about this but we pride ourselves on offering the very freshest cheese and unfortunately small pieces of cheese just do not like long distance travel.

Can you deliver your cheese to all areas of the UK?

We try and spread the fromage love as far and wide as possible but unfortunately there are some limits.  This is usually because some areas are just too remote or it may be unfeasibly expensive to deliver to some places.  The following postcodes fall into this category:

KA27, all IM, all KW, all BT, GY9, all JE, TR21-25, all ZE, HS1-9, KA28, PA20-49.

If you’re really desperate to send cheese to one of these postcodes please get in contact and we’ll see if we can find a solution.  We know how miserable life can be without good cheese and we can’t bear to disappoint.

Can I amend an order which I have already placed?

We understand that life is complicated and the best laid plans can change so if you need to make an amendment or change your order in any way, please email us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If your order has already been cut ready for despatch I’m afraid changes may not be possible.

What’s the latest I can order by for next day delivery?

If you place your order before midday we aim to deliver the next working day for you.  We do not deliver on Sunday or Mondays.  When we are really busy at Christmas time our cut off time may extend to 48 hours.

Do I need to be at home for delivery?

No, our couriers do not require a signature to make their delivery.  An email and text notification will be provided on the day of your delivery.

No. The courier will send you a notification via email and text once your parcel has gone on the van for delivery. This will also contain a number of options which you can use if you realise you’re not going to be in. You can read more about these options in the “How do DPD options work?” section below.

Where is my order? Can I track it?

On the morning your order is out for delivery you will receive a tracking number which will be emailed and texted to you.  A very handy one hour window will be provided for when you can expect your cheese to be delivered.  IF for some reason you are not going to be in to receive your delivery please visit dpd.co.uk and enter your postcode to see the other options available.  You will be given a variety of options dependant on your postcode area.

Can you tell me more about the DPD options?

DPD have a range of delivery options, however as we are sending you cheese which needs to be kept at a chilled temperature we suggest you only select either option 1 or 2.

  1. If you choose to have your cheese delivered to your neighbour, you will need to choose the specific neighbour from an address dropdown. If your preferred neighbour’s address is not listed, it is considered too far away for DPD to drop to. Delivery to your neighbour usually happens on the same day as the delivery was initially scheduled for.
  2. If you choose “deliver to a safe place” you will need to specify the safe place and leave clear delivery instructions for the driver. You will need to accept full responsibility for parcels that are left in the safe place. In most instances the parcel will be left in the safe place on the scheduled delivery day. If you suggest a safe place which the driver deems to be unsafe (e.g. on a doorstep on a busy high street) or which is difficult to understand (e.g. hide behind the folly) they may reject your instructions and attempt to deliver the following day.
  3. If you choose to have your cheese redelivered to a pickup shop, the cheese will go back to the depot, and be sent to the shop for pick up the following day.
  4. If you change the delivery day the cheese will be held by DPD (in a warehouse) until the delivery day that you have chosen. We strongly advise customers against choosing this option.
  5. If you choose to upgrade your delivery, you will need to pay DPD directly for this service. The option to upgrade a parcel is only available prior to the parcel going on the van for delivery.

Oh no, my box hasn’t arrived, what should I do?

If you have your delivery tracking number (please check your email and text messages) please check to see if there has been a problem.  If you don’t have this information to hand please contact us and we’ll contact the courier on your behalf.

Hurrah my cheese has arrived - what do I do now?

Well, the first thing you’ll want to do is unpack it from its box and marvel at all that cheesey goodness.  Then, have a quick read through the information we have given you advising how to store and look after your cheese.  Don’t forget your cardboard box can be recycled, the packaging placed in your compost bin and any ice packs are reusable.

Can I ask one more question?

Of course! If we haven’t managed to cover your question here please get in touch with us via our contact page and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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